The New Engrossing Thriller We’re Excited For, Starring Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney

By Rufus Punt | 3rd May 2023
reality hbo

HBO is having a big year with big hitters like The Last of Us and Succession being on everyone’s lips since they dropped. And they aren’t holding back. The next one on our radar is Reality, HBO’s new original film starring Sydney Sweeney of Euphoria fame as American intelligence whistle-blower Reality Winner. Based on real events, the dramatic narrative focuses on Reality’s interrogation in the aftermath of leaking classified information in 2017.

Here’s everything we know so far about HBO’s Reality

The film’s arrival is pretty timely with US leaks recently dominating the news headlines, but the hour-and-a-half drama will never make you feel like you’re bogged down with details. The real-life Winner served in the US Air Force and was arrested by FBI agents shortly after a report into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election that put Donald Trump in the White House. She would be charged with the harshest sentence so far for a military leak in the US. The film’s script is adapted from a play entitled Is This A Room, and is directed by its writer, Tina Satter. The transcript of the interrogation is performed verbatim, as the FBI agents slowly extract information from her.

Sweeney’s performance in Reality has received praise from critics for capturing Winner’s somewhat complex personality: despite making the leaks, she is in real life described as being patriotic and largely friendly and non-combative toward her interrogators. Her portrayal, which the star described as “taxing”, has already been tipped for an Emmy award. While the film takes place almost entirely within one room and is largely talking, it’s still a grippingly tense affair all the way through.

The teaser trailer released by HBO is similarly minimalist, with only a few closeup shots of Reality and her interrogators searching her house, with Reality asking “Why do I have this job if I’m going to be helpless?”. Opposite Sweeney are Marchánt Davis and Josh Hamilton as the two FBI agents, Taylor and Garrick.

You won’t have much longer to wait to watch the engrossing drama for yourself, with HBO confirming that following the film’s premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, it’ll arrive on streaming later this year following a limited cinema release on 29th May.

Reality HBO’s new political thriller will be on streaming later this year

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